I always tell my clients that paint is one of the least expensive home improvements a home owner can make, with the largest amount of return on investment (especially if homeowners are able to do the work themselves). Painting as a home improvement project is not limited to just to your drywall interiors, as just about any surface can be transformed with a couple coats of paint!
When we moved into our current home many years ago, we didn’t necessarily have the funds to update everything that needed updating at the time. We had one of those “not-so-beautiful” brass chandeliers from the 1990’s in our kitchen, so I decided to update the fixture with some paint and accessories. I spray painted it crème and purchased some cute little shades that I covered with a sage green gingham check fabric and finished off with green trim. The total cost of this project was about $30 which cost significantly less than purchasing a new chandelier.
Most recently during staging consultations with clients looking to sell, I made some suggestions with respect to paint that surprised both the realtor and sellers. The first home had a garage that had been converted into living space with heated square footage and was the largest room in the home. It had been finished with wood panel walls by the previous owners, and the current homeowners were looking to sell because of corporate relocation. I recommended painting the paneling with one of my favorite “go-to” staging colors Kilim Beige by Sherwin Williams. It turned out great and the clients’ home showed well. They received two full-price offers within days of listing.
The second consultation was a previously foreclosed home where the investors painted the dated brick fireplace. The color I suggested for this makeover was Sherwin Williams Alabaster. Paint totally lightened and brightened this dingy fireplace, and the Italian countryside canvas art provided a pop of color to create a great focal point in this room. This home sold in just 37 days.
As you can see, painting was well worth these sellers’ investment in both time and money. Just about anything can be painted, you just need to determine which type of paint is best to use for your application. If you’re not sure, ask a representative at your local paint store. These professionals are a great resource for homeowners since paint is their expertise. What item in your home is waiting for a fresh look with a new coat of paint?
Real estate has not slowed this summer like we experienced in recent years. It’s like the spring selling season stretched right through summer, and we are busier than ever before! When staging new listings, we often start with a blank slate which could better be described as a vacant home with neutral carpeting and vanilla colored walls. While a neutral color palette is recommended for selling, it doesn’t give a buyer much to look at. Staging helps make a home more appealing, allowing buyers to visualize themselves living there.
I would like to feature a a design plan for a home staged during the month of July. The living room featured here was part of a staging project in a waterfront ranch home located on Lake Norman. The only sofa that I had in stock in my warehouse at the time was a brightly colored RED sofa (we own staging inventory that we lease to our clients on a month to month basis). At first I thought I was going to have to go out and buy new living room furniture for this job, but then I found inspiration from the recent celebration of Independence Day and incorporated a Nautical Americana design theme. A red, white, and blue color scheme was used to achieve this. I found the fun lobster and fish pillows at Home Goods along with the red striped jute area rug. The distressed carved wooden lamps with burlap shades came from Kirkland’s in nearby Birkdale Village. I accessorized the room with an airy white metal lantern on the floor, and, lastly, the tray of margaritas and crystalized limes sets the stage for buyers that living in this home will be like a year-round vacation! We strive to create atmospheres that buyers will love and to help achieve the sellers goal of selling their home in their desired time frame at an optimal market price.
Trim and prune: The town will pick up yard waste if you follow the guidelines
Lately I have been working with several home owners who have not been able to keep up with the exterior maintenance on their homes. I don’t think it is intentional, it’s just not how people want to spend their time or money these days. Instead, home owners are on the go, live active lifestyles, and prefer to invest on the inside of the home where they live. When it comes time to sell your home, I see many sellers having to spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars all at once to address these problems. Even if you’re not selling, it is always good to have pride in ownership because exterior maintenance is about being proactive and keeping the elements at bay.
Water is the biggest potential destructive force to a house according to Chris Woodhouse who owns Hands-4-Hire and specializes in the maintenance of homes for a living. He recommends maintaining the exterior roof, wood trim, siding, doors and windows so that water can’t do damage. Other potential water damage spots around your home that should be checked or cleaned regularly are roof vent boots, gutters, and crawl spaces.
With respect to exterior landscaping, homeowners should prune all shrubs and bushes around the property two times annually. Kevin LePage with Matrix Landscaping says that right after plants flower in spring time and in fall before they go into dormancy are the best times to tackle this project. The town of Cornelius offers free collection of yard waste if you follow their guidelines which are posted at www.cornelius.org . It is also important to note that landscaping can grow to a point where it’s fully matured and needs replacing altogether. Don’t let landscaping grow so tall that your house looks like a jungle. One of my favorite real estate staging slogans is “if you can’t see it, you can’t sell it!”
Home ownership is a lot of work and should not be taken lightly. Homeowners can tackle these tasks themselves or outsource to a professional. The important thing to remember is that regular maintenance can save you money in the long haul and will help maintain your property’s value.
“If you can’t see it, you can’t sell it!”